Savor the Season

I love homeschooling! I also love reading and listening to other homeschoolers stories, struggles and victories. I hope you will enjoy the homeschool stories I will be sharing from Guest Readers, as much as I do! Savor The Season Homeschooling … Continue reading

Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” Week #39

Tweet #wakeupwednesdaylinky     Welcome to the 39th week of Wake Up Wednesday “Linky”  We are so excited to have you all party with us. Thank you so much to all those who participate in our party. Last week we had  406 awesome … Continue reading

My Love for County Fairs & Marietta County Fair Book Series Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Authors of the Marietta Fair Series. My opinions are 100% my own. You can view my full Disclosure Policy here. Well it’s that time again for so many country folk like me. What you say? … Continue reading

Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” Week 37

Tweet #wakeupwednesdaylinky      Welcome to the 37th week of  Wake Up Wednesday “Linky”    24 Blogs  –  1 Party &   Giveaway We are so excited to have you all party with us. Thank you so much to all those who participate … Continue reading

This Momma’s Meandering Mondays Week #62

Welcome one and all to This Momma’s Meandering Mondays #62 and I want to offer a great, big thank you in advance to all of you who link up with us! It has been a great honor and blessing to a a Guest Host this past month with Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings. Thank you Stacey from the bottom of my heart, I have met so many new blogging friends, and I have learned so much that it is beyond amazing how I feel.

 

Week #62 This Momma’s Meandering Mondays

Now…let’s get the party started and come on in and join the fun by linking up your favorite posts! We had an absolutely awesome week last week! Share the fun and make some new friends, find a new yummy treat, or find a wonderful new craft idea to make. This is a great way to grow in your friendships! But before we start this party…Grab a badge!

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Today, I would like to now give a warm Meandering Mondays welcome to our new co-host for the month of September…Victoria from Giveaways 4 Mom!

Giveaways4momVictoria

Victoria is the owner of Giveaways 4 Mom. She is a full time work at home mom of three young boys. She started Giveaways 4 Mom to show moms that they could indeed win online giveaways and over the years, it has evolved into so much more. In her free time, she loves taking her boys to events and amusement parks.

This will be the last week for our co-host for the month of August, so be sure to stop by to read the wonderful guest post that she did, just click on the link below…Welcome Miranda from Grace and Gravy!

blog profile pic Miranda

Miranda is the author behind the blog GraceandGravy with a side of life! She is a Crunchy, Country Mama giving her look on a Homemade Life of Homeschool, Good Eats, (Mis) Adventures, and Living Grace-Filled Everyday! Miranda resides in Arkansas with her sweet husby William that she has been married to for 15 years and a homeschool mama to kiddos Keegan and Lindy. She loves her four-legged, fur babies and they make her life complete. Miranda is passionate about blogging, reading, crafting, cooking, planning/decorating, and learning to be a more self-suf​ficient Homesteader.

Here is a wonderful guest post that she contributed to my site a couple of weeks ago, called, “Ten Things I Want My Children to Know About Me“! Such an amazing post from the heart!

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Now stop in and say howdy to my linky party partners in fun…

The wonderful Jessica from The Wondering Brain and Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures.

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Epic Mommy Adventures

Grab a badge and join the party!

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Now it is time to introduce our favorite This Momma’s Meanderer’s from last week, and boy oh boy it was a difficult choice! Don’t forget to grab your “I Was Featured” badge of honor! Congratulations to you all!

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Miranda’s favorite post came from Ten at the Table with the post “Stromboli Step by Step!”
Saying, ” I am such a bread lover and enjoy any type of pizza/sandwich style food. This recipe is so doable especially in a hurry!”
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Natasha’s favorite post came from Jayhawk Mommy with the post “Teaching My Toddlers Manners!”
Saying, “I am a stickler on manners with my son. It is very important to me that he is a mannerable young man – making sure he says Thank You, Yes please, You’re welcome, Bless you, etc. I definitely see that there is a lack of children being polite and mannerable, and growing up that was such an important factor with my grandparents and parents. Therefore, I want to encourage my son to do the same. Thanks for sharing this great post!”
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My favorite post came from Jayhawk Mommy with the post “Teaching My Toddlers Manners!”
What a wonderful post! I see so many children that have long since passed the toddler stage, with absolutely no manners and no respect, and it saddens me greatly for the state of future generations. It makes me feel so wonderful, when my own children at 12, 14, & 21, still use the manners and respect that they have been taught since birth. Thank you so much for sharing!
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Congratulations to all of you amazing and wonderful linkers! Don’t forget to grab and display our “Featured” badge!

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Thank you to all of you who joined us last week!

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I am looking for October co-hosts for This Momma’s Meandering Mondays? If interested, please drop me a line at ssgannett@gmail.com. I would love to have you along for the ride! You can also check out my sponsor page for more info.

Now let’s get this party started!

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Remember everyone enjoys a little comment love!

Feel free to “meander” by some fellow bloggers and find a new recipe to make for the family, a helpful blogging tip, a funny story to read, and best of all a new friend to make! There are really no rules to follow, only some suggestions to keep in mind…because we are all to enjoy the friendships that come along by doing these few simple and wonderful things…

1. Link up your favorite post…a story, a recipe, a photo, or a helpful tip…As many as you want, that’s right as many as you want!!!!

2. Please follow our Host’s

3. Find some new friends to follow, friendships are what it’s all about!

4. Be sure to leave some comment love, to get it in return.

5. Grab our badge and display on your blog, sharing the love is what it’s all about.

Meander through the links and make some new friends, find some amazing and useful tips, and maybe even a new treat to try!

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Welcoming you to link up all of your favorite sites for This Momma’s Meandering Mondays 62, for more opportunity to Meander around and share the love! So happy Linking everyone!

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Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” #30

   
  Welcome to the 30th week of  Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” 
 
32 Blogs  –  1 Party
 Giveaway
We are so excited to have you all party with us.
Thank you so much to all those who participate in our party.
Last week we had  437 awesome linkups!   
 Wake Up and be happy, get excited and have fun with us! 
We want to be inspired, entertained, laugh and have a good time!
 
 The hop is hosted and posted on these different blogs
Your link will appear on the blogs of
 
Interested in Co-Hosting Wake Up Wednesday?
Fill out this form and Angel will be in touch with you?
This weeks 
Featured Bloggers
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Today I want to share my front porch with you. My accessories have both complimenting and contrasting colors in them. I wanted them to work with my house color (Cabot exterior latex stain in Spruce Blue.) and not clash.

Glass Insulator Lights

Glass Insulator Lights
Today, I thought I would share with you some of the lights what we installed in our new house! 

Carrot Orange Bread

from Wendys Hat

Carrot Orange Bread with Orange Juice Glaze
Created a special treat today that I know you will love.  I’m calling it my Carrot Orange Bread with Orange Juice Glaze.
 
Even though my Peach Cobbler was a failure this week, living in Georgia: I HAVE to can peaches each year. Now, we have a ton of Summer Georgia Peaches for the next few seasons thanks to successful canning. 

Whipped Feta Dip from The Pink Recipe Box

Whipped Feta Dip | www.pinkrecipebox.com

Sometimes I feel like the recipes I share with you guys are too simple and too fast to 
call them recipes. Today is one of those days. 
 

Thrifty Thursday…Glass Mushrooms for the Garden

from Artistic Endeavors Inc 101

A trip to the thrift store with my daughter yielded supplies for a quick garden project.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza

from Upstate Ramblings

Slice of Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza
Pizza makes an good family dinner, because it is not only quick to make it is cost effective too.  But always serving cheese pizza is boring, so I like to change it up with some different toppings.  A few weeks ago I made Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza, and the family loved it!

Crock Pot Shredded Beef Tacos Recipe

from A Mom’s Take

Crock Pot Shredded Beef Tacos
While I grew up eating what I now refer to as the American version of a beef taco, I found as an adult that I much prefer the milder flavor and taste of a traditional shredded beef taco.

DIY Citrus Avocado Face Mask

from Robyn’s View

Citrus Avocado Face Mask
Avocados are rich in moisturizing oils and healthy fats that you skin will adore. When you combine avocados with the skin brightening properties of citrus, you have a face mask that can’t be beat!

DIY: Cucumber Mint Body Scrub + Free Printable Labels

from Living Frugal with Erika

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I know that we all need a little relaxation from time to time, and what better way than with a DIY Scrub? Not only is this perfect for relaxing at home, it also makes a wonderful frugal gift idea! Take an afternoon and create this easy DIY Cucumber Mint Body Scrub

 Homemade Coffee Sugar Scrub

from Living Chic

coffeesugarscrub

I have been obsessed with Homemade Body Scrub recipes lately. I decided to whip up a Coffee Sugar scrub recipe of my own this morning. It is so easy and very inexpensive.

 

Funfetti Cake Bites

Funfetti Cake Bites
We love dessert at the Smith House, and though I’m obviously not a professional baker, I still enjoy whipping up some sort of sweet treat to share after dinner.

How-to: sew a soft ball

from Green Apple Colttagesoft toy ball

Another baby boy was born on the very day I posted a picture of a home made soft ball  I had sewn for my nephew. A perfect opportunity to sew another one, don’t you think? This time, I added several loops.


Lemon Blueberry Squash Bread

 

from Cooking with K

Lemon Blueberry Squash Bread

Have you every heard of yellow squash in a quick bread recipe?  I was first introduced to it last summer  by my daughter.  I love to bake with zucchini in bread, but never had made any with summer yellow squash.

 

The Last Wall in my Kitchen!!

from Debbie Dabble

Finally, I would like to share with you the last wall in my Kitchen……

And wrap up my Series on my Kitchen where I shared One Wall at a Time……

Every weekday I get an email from Short Daily Devotions, this one yesterday really touched my heart and spoke to me. I really want to share it with you today.

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Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, crafts, decorating, fashion, makeup, health & fitness, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly. Please visit some other bloggers and make some new friends and say hello to old friends..

 

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Adding your link to this blog hop gives Sew Crafty Angel permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts.  Note- All features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts will be linked back to the original source .Social media features are linked back to the linky party.

 

Fresh, Fried Okra & Fresh, Fun Photos

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You might remember a TBT I posted a while back titled “Children of the Okra”.  It was an old post that I re-shared about an awful experience in the Okra Jungle, helping my dad.  I get chills just thinking about that day.  I swore, Yes I swore, I would never eat okra again, but somewhere between then and now the thoughts from that day became less frightening and Fried Okra starting sounding appealing again!

A few weeks ago my dad brought over a few bags of okra that had finally decided to produce.  Well, I certainly couldn’t pass it up so I decided to conquer my fear of okra and fry up some for dinner.  My family was extremely pleased that my fear of okra was gone, because they had been missing my Southern Fried Okra for sometime now!

I got to work right away cutting it up, bagging most for the freezer and saving a bowl for dinner.

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My okra batter is pretty basic.  But it sure is good ole southern amazing!

What you need:

1 cup corn meal

1/2 flour

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1 cup buttermilk

(0r 1 cup milk and 1 tbsp on vinegar, let set for appx 3 mins)

2 eggs

2 cups of cut okra

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What you do:

Get your pan of oil hot and ready.  (I use a cast iron Dutch Oven Skillet)

Slightly whisk your cornmeal, flour, salt, and peppers together in bowl.

In a separate bowl mix your milk and eggs together.

Add appx 10 pieces of okra into egg/milk.

Using a metal spoon with holes, scoop up okra and let mixture drain for a second before adding to the dry mixture.

Completely cover in the dry mixture and add to hot oil.

Fry until golden brown and crispy!

Continue until all okra is fried.

You will LOVE this okra!  And to make it extra amazing, dip it in some good ole ranch!  Yummo!

Don’t get much better than this here is the South!

 

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This week it’s all been about Freshness, including Fresh Photos!

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My daughter Lindy Photo taken by Carosello Fete Photography

 

So to go along with my Fresh, Fried Okra, I wanted to share with you some Fresh, Fun Photos taken by my friend and amazing photographer Erin Wilson.

Erin Pic

Erin, from Carosello Blog is a handmade business owner, wife, mom and word mispronouncer.  She  blogs about her favorite things, cooking, business life, decor, DIY and personal style. She just moved from Oklahoma to Boston-ish and then back down to Arkansas. She has been a big city gal most of her life and now living in a quaint little small town. She just bought a new house and are deep into renovating madness. Erin always love a good cardigan, pink pedicures, liquid eyeliner, hot tea and exploring all things local.

This past week, Erin captured some amazing shoots of my daughter Lindy.

I think I will cry now.

She looks way to grown up in this pictures!

 

Lindy - 21

 

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lindy3

 

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I can’t believe this shots!

My baby isn’t a baby anymore ):

You can also find Erin on Facebook.  Head over and show her some Bloggy Love!

Hope everyone enjoys the Freshness this week!

When Love Is Not Enough: The Story of Cowboy Hank JR

Cowboy1 redo

 

 

A couple months ago, I wrote a short story titled “The Life of Lola”.  It was about my fur-baby who has been my companion for eight years.  It was a story of love, hope, and healing.  As I finished up the story, I decided I wanted to write about each of my babies.  I wanted to write them all the story of their life and then find the perfect time to publish them as a way for me to hold on to each of them forever.

Little did I know life had other plans.

Let me back up five years.

February 15, 2009, my sister asked if me and husby would take her  to look at a litter of Shorky’s (shih tzu/yorkie). See her fur-baby had just passed away and my brother in law worked out of state, and she was lonely.  She was looking for a new companion.

At that time, we had Lola.  She was my dog, my protector.  We really wasn’t looking for another fur-baby.  Our life was busy, we were constantly on the go with kid activities.

Once we were there,  this cute little ball of fur kept climbing in my lap.  He was absolutely adorable.  And he had eyes that would make you melt.  I looked at my husby and he knew. That ball of fur was coming home.

Home is where he came.  Where he slept in a basket in my room, where Lola treated him like her long lost son, where he soon stole the hearts of each one of us.  And his name became Cowboy Hank JR.

I’m not sure why dogs hold such a special place in my heart.  Often times I feel they understand the over- emotional person that I am better than a human.  They sense a deep connection I feel for them and they feel for me.  I look into their eyes and I see their soul, their heart, their purpose.

Yes, I do believe each dog has a purpose.  They are each here for a companion.  They are meant to help a lost soul find their way, whatever that may be.

Cowboy arrived into my life right as a storm was headed my way.  My family was getting ready to experience rough waters that we had never experienced before.  Cowboy, you could say, was my lifeline.

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See, when we are experiencing tough times, it is human nature to let it consume us.  But if we have something or someone to focus on, it takes some of the struggle of our life away. We look away from the negativity on our own life to find positive purpose in something else. Cowboy was my purpose. A way to redirect my pain away from me and turn it into a positive experience.

Just like Lola, Cowboy became my protector.  He loved me in a way that he loved no one else.  I guess he knew I would always take care of him, just the same as he took care of me.

Cowboy loved Lola with a passion.  As he got a little bigger he would not leave her side.  He followed her around, he had to sleep in the same kennel with her at night, and no way was he letting her leave anywhere without him.  They were best friends til the end.

cowboy5 redo

Cowboy loved to come to my room with me and lay beside me on the bed, or crawl under the bed and sleep.  He had such a sweet heart, but he also had such an ornery side.  He hated cats, and it was his life goal to chase everyone of them away.  He also made sure everyone knew he controlled the food bowl. (:  No one ate until Cowboy approved it!

And oh how he loved to snuggle.  And his sweet, sweet kisses.

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My love for Cowboy ran deep.  Maybe it was because he was only five weeks old when we brought him home, or maybe it was because he picked me to be his companion, I’m not really sure. Maybe it’s because his love help pull me out of dark depression on days when No one else could reach me. All I know is he held a special place in my heart that will last a lifetime.

Earlier this year, Cowboy got sick.  I took him to the vet and was told he had bronchitis.  After a round of treatment, he seemed to be better. But a month later and he was sick again.  Back to Dr Shane we went. This time we tried a new treatment but they didn’t seem to work much. A few weeks later, we were back in the office, but this time the medications didn’t affect Cowboy at all.

I knew that morning, last Wednesday, when I got up that his time was ending soon.

I called the vet one more time and they told me to bring him right in.  I told my kiddos to tell him bye, that at his was probably not going to end the way we wanted.  I made sure Cowboy told Lola bye, little did Lola know she would never see him again.

Dr Shane wanted to run tests.  He called me later to explain that Cowboy’s heart was enlarged and he prayed he would respond to the medication.  He wanted to keep him over night, I think more for my benefit so Cowboy wouldn’t die at home.  The next morning I got the call I most dreaded.  He didn’t make it.  

I knew.  

I had awoke in the night and knew right away he was gone.  So I sat in the dark and prayed.  Prayed for peace. Prayed for understanding.  Prayed for reassurance that Cowboy was in no more pain.

cowboy6redo

I made the decision to have him cremated.  I needed my baby to be home.  I couldn’t bear the thought of never having him close to me again. He was always with me through every laugh and every tear and I needed him to remain beside me. I owed Cowboy that much.

Arrangements were made, and then it was time to tell the kids.  They took it better than I expected. Maybe because I had prepared them, but mainly I think they knew they had to be strong for me.  They knew I would take it extremely hard, which I did.

I sat alone in my room for several hours, as tears streamed down my face.  There was nothing left for me to do. And even though I knew I needed to hug my other fur-babies a little tighter that day, I couldn’t seem to pull myself out of my pain, out of the darkness.

My husby called me from work to see how I was doing. He told me to take the kids to the water park, to relax, to let the sun shine on my face, to not think for a few hours.

I sat at the waterpark that afternoon and cried.  I cried for me, I cried for Cowboy, I cried for Lola.  As I looked up I saw a cloud that was shaped as a fluffy dog with a curly tail and I cried even harder knowing he was telling me he was okay.  

Later that day, as I cried some more, a little butterfly decided to land on my hand and sit there.  It didn’t move, it just watched me.  Again I know that was Cowboy’s way of letting me know it was okay to let go.  

I watched as the little butterfly flew off my hand, only to come back once more, as to say, “Are you sure you will be okay?”, then it was gone again.

This past week has been so hard. I have experienced so many emotions. Sadness that I would not see him again in this life, grateful for being his human, angry for him leaving me, guilt for not doing more to help him and happiness knowing he is running free at the a Rainbow Bridge waiting for me. Many tears have been shed, many prayers have been prayed, many memories have replayed in my mind.

Some might say, he was just a dog.  I would say  no, he was family.  He knew me and my moods better than my closet family or friends.  He knew when I needed a kiss, or a snuggle or just company as I lay in my room.

See, when you have the love of a dog like I do, you experience a pure and innocent love.  There is no judgment, no grudges just plain love and adoration.  And that is exactly what I received with Cowboy,  and for that I will forever be grateful he chose me.

I told Dr Shane, the day Cowboy left me, all I wanted was to bring my Cowboy home. When my love was not enough to keep him with me here on this Earth,I just needed to bring him home with me forever.

And today he came home to stay.

cowboyhome

 

 

Last Night

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.

I could see that you were crying, You found it hard to sleep.

I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,

“It’s me, I haven’t left you, I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”

I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,

You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.

I was with you at the shops today, Your arms were getting sore.

I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care.

I want to re-assure you, that I’m not lying there.

I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.

I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said ” it’s me.”

You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.

I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.

It’s possible for me, to be so near you everyday.

To say to you with certainty, “I never went away.”

You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew…

In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.

The day is over… I smile and watch you yawning

and say “good-night, God bless, I’ll see you in the morning.”

And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,

I’ll rush across to greet you and we’ll stand, side by side.

I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.

Be patient, live your journey out…then come home to be with me.

Author Unknown

*Please Adopt, Don’t Shop and donate to your local rescues and shelters